Weekly News Bulletin – 14th September 2018

Over the last week, we saw exciting plans about the introduction of a new construction diploma aiming to bring more young people into the industry and redefine outdated perceptions of the sector. The Construction Index shared details about the new qualification in the link below, which will be a collaboration between ISG and exam board WJEC, and will be the equivalent of an A-level. The diploma launched on the 11th September, with high hopes for introducing new talent into the industry. What are your opinions? Do you think this new diploma will bring new talent into the sector?

The Greater Birmingham Chambers spoke about another exciting project in the West Midlands region, focusing again on young people. The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has announced a new Transition to Work scheme with hopes to cut down youth unemployment throughout a series of workshops. The scheme will look to engage those aged 16 to 24, allowing them to share their views and assisting them in finding a meaningful and rewarding career in the area.

On a similar note, FE News discussed a newly published report by The Engineering Professors’ Council that focuses on the need for a change to degree apprenticeships. Despite their growing popularity, it is thought that there are still aspects of the hybrid degree that could be improved. For example, some believe that putting too much emphasis on tailoring people’s skills to a certain employer’s needs could result in apprenticeships being seen as an inferior option to a traditional university degree. Here at Metsec, we believe that full-time academic degrees are not the only possible route into a successful career and the next generation should have access to information about all available educational options.

PlaceTech covered another important announcement about a new 5G testbed within the region, which is the largest one in the UK to date. The trial programme will run in Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton, and will focus initially on the health, construction and automotive sectors. The scheme is expected to be ‘game-changing’ for the economy in the West Midlands region and has the potential to transform and improve the daily lives of people and businesses in the UK.

Finally, Construction Global reviewed the thoughts of Carl Ghinn, Managing Director at Fixmart, on the construction industry and possible new ways of working for less labour-intensive products. He also discusses the apprenticeship levy and how innovative technology might not be enough to solve the key issues in the industry, which is why new ways of working are much needed to continue progressing. With many companies facing a number of challenges in the sector, such as a shortage of new talent in the workforce, there are thoughts that there is a need for a radical overhaul in order to meet the demand and continue developing the sector. What are your opinions?

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High hopes for new construction diploma
A new A-level alternative has been developed to draw more young people into the construction industry

Call for young people to help improve ways into work
A new project to reduce youth unemployment across the West Midlands is seeking the views of 16 to 24-year-olds at a series of workshops this month.

The Engineering Professors’ Council calls for changes to degree apprenticeships
Monday 10 September, The Engineering Professors’ Council published a report, which calls for changes to degree apprenticeships.

West Midlands chosen as UK’s first multi-city 5G testbed
Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton are to welcome the government’s 5G Testbed & Trials Programme, in the largest test of 5G connectivity in the UK to date.

Does the UK construction industry require a radical overhaul?
As the sector faces a severe skills shortage Carl Ghinn, Managing Director at Fixmart, asks whether new ways of working, and products that are less labour intensive, could help ease the problems.